I typically like old English stories especially when they have a mystical aspect such as going back in time but after 20 hours of listening the story went nowhere. Neither of the two main protagonist brought anything truly interesting to the story, nor did I find the obstacles confronting them of any real challenge. I doubt I would try another book by this author.
I don't mind a little romance , in fact I like it, but I need a little more adventure, or a lot more human interest and challenging obstacles, something that puts a little more on the line than life-and-death or brings a tear to my eye.
Story aside, Porter's performance was great.
I must confess I first started reading this because the show coming out and though I thought the book was a complete waste of my time, I felt it could be better for television. Ok now that's out of the way. The beginning was so promising, but even then there were hints I didn't quite catch of what it was about to become.
Sex is not bad for all books in some its a thing of morality and hurts the people around a character, others it character building and shows what type of person they are. In Outlander it's a cheap ploy to get two people together (It wasn't really about sex till certain events) and it wasn't necessary (or atleast at that moment) The Claire and Jamie relationship was great then slowly ruined after one page.
In life I'm told sex ruins relationships and so is the case with this book, it may be good to some, great to others, but all I got out of it was after barely getting to know someone in the sack is much more beneficial then getting to know them as a person. Know what your getting into, its not an awful, it just could have been so much better.
I would make the book shorter by 20 hours. The author goes on and on way too much about details that have nothing to do with the story, and I don't need so many details about the weird types of sex the characters are going to have.
Maybe an abridged version.
I actually got bored after the first 10 hours and listened to most of it in fast forward speed just to see if anything of interest would happen.
Like the others I think the narrator did a good job, but her voice sounded just a little too old for the young characters, it kind of threw things off for me.
This has to be one of my absolute favorites.
Her ability to change between accents, to bring emotion to each and make you feel that you are listening to the actual people talking.
Oh, if only I could have!
This was a total 5 star........ could have been 6.
I have not always written reviews and those I've written were not always positive. This one is an exception to all the rules. I couldn't put it down. It reads like a novel from an older experienced writer with at least ten best sellers on the resume. In the series you learn so many things you never expected to learn and they fit so neatly into the story. For instance, how is penicillin made? Bread mold, right? Well, yes and no. It isn't made from the mold but I won't spoil it for you because I want you to be just as amazed as I was by the things you will learn. The series is loaded with little things such as this and what a surprise to find out that this is the authors first novel!
I would be completely remiss if I didn't mention Davina Porter. She is the best narrator I've ever heard read an audible book and I've read them for many years. When I was traveling and on the road for my company, it was a way of catching up on my reading and staying awake on the road. Davina's ability to do all the dialects and accents combined with her gender switches are nothing short of amazing. She does Jaime so well that even though I'm straight as an arrow, her rendition is a flat turn on.
I can't say enough for this book and this series except that it keeps getting better and better. I wish you the joy of opening this book like you're opening a special package that you just know contains something wondrous and joyful. No spoilers here, my friends. I wouldn't do that to you. Instead, discover and pay it forward for this is one of those that when you turn the final page, you do so with joy but also a touch of regret, knowing that you will likely read it again but it can never again be your first time.
Its verra, verra good. So good that I dreamt about the characters. If you want an action paced, drama filled, time travel novel that is full of history and features the love story to end all love stories; then you can't go wrong with one.
Be aware though that it is very violent at times, with some brutal torture so if this is a issue for you, then avoid.
But I loved it so much that I'm straight on to book two. I need to see what the future has in store for Claire and Jamie.
And I loved this audio version; the narration is perfect and listening to the accents just heighted my experience with this book.
Book blogger at Bookwi.se
Thrown back in time books have often interested me. It is not a new idea, the first I remember reading was a kid’s version of Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. And there have been many since then.
I have been hearing about the Outlander series since it came out more than 20 years ago. At some point several years ago the kindle version was briefly offered for free (and I picked up the audiobook version for $3.99 with some promotional Audible credit.) It was one of the books that I was looking forward to reading when I decided to stop buying new books for a while.
In Outlander, Claire is a former WWII English combat nurse just after the war. After 6 years she and her husband have been reunited and have temporarily moved to Scotland so he (an historian) can do some research and they can get reaquanted as a couple. The two of them stumble on a druid ceremony and Claire is briefly separated from her husband Frank. And then somehow, she is sent back in time to 1743 Scotland on the edge of war.
Claire has no idea how to get home (or how she got to 1743). But she knows that life in 1743 is much different than life in 1945. Her training as a nurse and her interest in medicinal plants gives her a place as a healer. But she is still an ‘Outlander’ and most of the English are hated in a society that would like to rebel against England.
James Fraser (Jamie) becomes her protector (after she saves his life.) Eventually she is forced to marry Jamie for her own protection against a vicious English Captain. Claire falls in love with Jamie and despite her guilt for being married in both 1945 and 1743, she tries to make a life with Jamie.
Jamie has his own issues. Captain Randall (who happens to be Frank’s ancestor) is searching for Jamie, forcing Jamie to live as an outlaw.
There is more than enough drama from the relationship with Jamie and Frank, the time travel (and concerns about changing the future) and the adjustment to 1743 to keep the story moving. But this is a LONG book. 33 hours in audiobook and more than 800 pages in paperback. I mostly listened, but occasionally read the kindle version (whispersync is awesome, you should use it.)
As a story, it is somewhat similar in feel to the Game of Thrones books in its epic scope. Although it is based in actual history and not fantasy history. The writing is reminiscent of Susan Howatch, because of the long detailed character driven book. There are currently eight books in this series, all about the same length.
It is also more ‘romance-y’ than many fantasy, time travel books, but not unlike Time Traveler’s Wife, which I love. There is a good bit of sex in the book. Most of it isn’t too explicit. But the story at the end includes gay rape/torture that while not as explicit as it could be, it pretty bad. If you are reading in paper, it is fairly easy to skip over the sex scenes if you want to.
It is not as serious about history as Octavia Butler’s Kindred (which I highly recommend.) And so this feels more like a fantasy book than historical fiction (although other than the time travel there is really not any fantasy elements.)
On the whole, this is a well written, engaging series. But even after 850 page, it just sort of ends without a real conclusion. It is a clear set up for the next book in the series, but does not really feel like a good ending.
One of my hesitations about even starting this book is that I knew it was the start of a long series. Starting what is around a 5000 page series is a big deal. In the end I am glad I read it and I enjoyed it. But I am not sure how quickly I will read the next book.
The series is being turned into a Starz series in the summer of 2014. So I might wait to see how good the TV series is before I invest too much more time in the books.
Originally posted on my blog, Bookwi.se
Misdirected again! I wish audible would have ratings similar to movie ratings. There is power (or foolishness) in the written word. True, you can walk out of a theater, or hit the stop button on a book, but I don't appreciate being conned. The so-called, mis-named 'heroine' of this book alternates between being a competent, sensible nurse and a whining fool who gets herself and everyone around her into ridiculous, life-threatening situations through sheer stubbornness and stupidity!. She is an embarrassment to any rational, thinking person, let alone 'women' (mentioned since this author is perpetuating gender stereotypes). The absurd 'plot twist' causing an arranged marriage to a stranger, who proceeds to beat her to a pulp to impress his buddies downstairs, is shameful (on the part of the author). And the 'heroine's' subsequent submission to him is appalling. This is not 'romantic' by any means. Their entire relationship is just weird and contrived, like the plot, the characters and well, all of it! If you want to read an intelligent, interesting book by a 'woman', looks like we have to go back and re-read Agatha Christie! (Tommy & Tuppence are much more 'romantic' than this smut, and they are smart, funny, and mutually respectful!).
This book has it all. Adventure, history, mystery, romance, family, honor, villains, myth, legend and truth. The reader/performer is absolutely the best.
If you've seen the TV series you will love all of the detail in the audiobook. I first read the book over 20 years ago, and the story is still as engaging as ever.
Do it. Download it now and enjoy this wonderful tale.... And the rest of the series.
With the TV series set to come out the summer of 2014. I decided I wanted to read/listen to this book again because it had been some time since I had read it. I have read and listened to this book previously. Yes, it's that good, and now let me explain why this is a favorite and why I prefer to listen to Davina Porter narrate than for me to sit and read it.
Outlander is the story of a English war nurse who after World War II returns to Scotland where she and her husband first got married. They are there on vacation and while Frank, her husband she has not seen in 7 years, is a wonderful loving man he is also a history professor and much obsessed with researching his family tree. She stumbles across a stone circle in a new desire to study botany (a hobby to keep her busy now she does not have many wounded men to care for) This stone circle pulls her back in time before the Scottish rebellion with Prince Charlie. She is clearly an outsider and gets pulled into a political web between the Scottish and British. You see Claire, an amazingly strong female character, deal with the time she has been brought back to and how she deals with the small amount of knowledge of the time she has, and what the reality compared to the history is.
This is a wonderful book. It brings the rawness of the history to life. It is not sugar coated. It is well researched. You can rely on the history drawn in this book, the details are accurate, and you can smell and taste Scotland from Diana Gabaldon's descriptions.
A bit of a warning. This is definitely a romance. The sexual material is described in as much detail as the rest of the book. This is not simple period erotica because there is a well researched and well formed story but it is explicit. It also does deal with sexual violence towards both men and women. It is not biased. Sex is both positive and negative in the book and is not a tool to degrade women but it is a reality of the time and handles situations that would have been dealt with in the historical time. Likewise, there is a lot of violence and some profanity. There is a reason the TV show is being produced by Starz and not another network like FOX or NBC.
It is a wonderful book and Davina Porter handles the varied accents and character differentiation with ease. I love listening to her read this book. I can not create the beautiful accents she does in my own head. She does a masterful job that heightens the overall experience. Enjoy this book.